A SELF-DRIVING racing car will attempt the tricky Goodwood hill climb at next month’s Festival of Speed, making it the first autonomous vehicle to tackle the course.
Part of a long-running project by Roborace to develop an autonomous motor sport series, the Robocar is used to taking on street racing circuits but the run at Goodwood will be its toughest challenge yet.
As well as having to tackle a deceptively bumpy course at speed, it will also need to avoid running wide onto the grass, losing grip and heading towards the hay bales lining the narrow 1.16-mile route.
If the 360-degree sensors do their job of keeping the car away from the barriers – and the famous flint wall – the Robocar has a good chance of setting a decent time. After all, the its electric powertrain develops a punchy 714bhp – nearly twice the power of the Mahindra Formula E single-seater that came close to setting the hill climb’s electric car record time in 2017.
As the Robocar is an autonomous vehicle with no passenger seat, it will be impossible for anyone to be driven up the Goodwood hill climb course in the car.
But visitors to the Festival of Speed (July 12-15), will be able to get a first-person view of its run up the hill courtesy of a VR display at Roborace’s stand at the ‘Future Lab’ area of the show, which is expanded in its second year since inception.